Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Week 5 - My Volunteer Experience

Work In Progress

A warm welcome to week 5's Cultivate blog! This week we've been collage-ing our thoughts and experiences since the group's Volunteer Experience last Saturday (19th Oct).

On Saturday, the Cultivate group were in Torry for the Creative Communities pop-up event. Although it was a quieter day than expected due to the typically dreich Aberdeen weather, the guys welcomed local families to come along and try various arts activities, with the promise of free ice-cream for those who took part. 

I promise to steal photos of the event when they're ready, and include them in next week's blog. For now, here's some photos of lead-artist Fergus and Cultivate member Barney, doing some repair work to the giant ice-cream and strong man that were used to get funny pictures at the pop-up day.

Aside from the strong man and ice-cream activities, the main attraction on the day was inspired by the idea of the camera obscura, mentioned in last week's blog. In a nutshell, this is how it's done:

1. Stick your head in a projector and have someone stand behind you.

2. By some kind of voodoo magic involving the mirror part of the projector, the image of the person behind you will appear on the paper before your eyes.

3. Draw.

Pretty good, huh?

So anyway, back to the course. The group reflected on their experience on Saturday, and identified the strengths and weaknesses they'd displayed on the day. They then wrote these qualities on either a 'flake' or a muscle, and stuck them on the giant cut-outs.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Week 4 - In which the camera had a life of it's own

So, this was a rather exciting week for the Cultivate Team! This was because... well as some brainstorming work...

...some very serious discussion work...

...and some writing things down...

Sticky notes, the stuff of dreams!

Oh, and of course a wee tea break...

We finally got working on Fergus's camera obscura project!

Nah, I can't work out what it is yet either. But I'm promised it's going to be amazing. Check it out for yourself this weekend at the Torry Pop-up event, Abbey Road, Torry, Aberdeen, Sat 19th Ocotber 1-3pm.

As a taster of Fergus's work, here's what happened when our resident professional photographer was left in charge of this week's group photo! We only needed the one Fergus, what button did you press?!

Week 3 - Where do people volunteer?

Say cheese!
This week the team looked at the organisations that use volunteers, and they took to the streets to snap various volunteer-involving organisations which they then sorted into 3 categories - voluntary, private, and statutory...

...but we'll leave you to guess which one's which! ;)

 The team worked really hard this week completing some of the written work for the course. The Creative Learning tutors have done a great job simplifying the course questions, and the candidate's diaries are colourful and interesting, which makes the school work slightly less difficult on the brain. Hey, no-one said they wouldn't have to do a teeny bit of work for their qualification!

One of the highlights of this week was Fergus's photography talk. In the coming weeks the volunteers will be supporting Fergus to deliver photography/art sessions as part of the Creative Communities programme. To give them some background to the activities he's planned, Fergus spoke about the idea of the camera obscura - for more info why not pop along to the Torry pop-up event on Saturday 19th October?

Friday, 4 October 2013

Week 2 - Who volunteers and why?

You will notice there are a few more faces in the team this week - that's because we're now more or less up to numbers for the Cultivate programme! Which means that those folks you see above are the official "Team Cultivate" mark II - best of luck to them!

This week, because of the influx of new people, there was a bit of re-capping of the stuff covered in session 1. That meant that Hatti and Barney got to pass on what they had learned about what it means to volunteer. With the Creative Learning tutors, Linsay and Fergus, they were able to help the newbies make up the ground they missed, discussing "What IS a volunteer?" and also helped them make their volunteer diaries.

After a quick tea break with some chocolate goodies delivered by Community Arts Officer Kelly, (yum, thank you!) the team brainstormed a bit more about the definition of a volunteer, and those who missed last week were able to provide some new ideas on the topic. Over the course of the conversation, it became clear that learning new skills and supporting a cause were major factors in motivating people to volunteer. Many of the group members expressed a wish to try something new, exciting or different as a volunteer, as a way to 'test out' different things or push themselves further.

 In the second half of the session, the group thought about the benefits of volunteering for the volunteer. They drew round Barney and then chopped him up into 3 parts. The group then split into mini-groups and each one took a different Barney part.

Of course Linsay took the activity very seriously...!

Each group thought about the benefits for the volunteer and wrote or drew them onto various body parts.

We then brought all the pieces back together to create a big picture of the benefits of volunteering.

Doing New Things

Enjoyment, Pushing Yourself, Meeting New People